The President, in his speech at the occasion of the State Opening of Parliament on 11th December 2015, highlighted the many road infrastructure development and rehabilitation project that have been completed and are in progress under his leadership. These include, but are not limited to the rehabilitation of the 86 km Kenema–Pendembu Road; the Tokeh –Lumley (Phase III) highway Project; the 120km Makeni – Kabala road Project (Phase 1); the 120km Matotoka – Sefadu road Projects; and Phase 11 of the Hillside Bye-Pass road. Of particular significance is the widening of The Wellington-Masiaka Highway to four-lane on a Public Private Partnership basis that will improve access between the capital Freetown and the rest of the regions in Sierra Leone.
With all these developments, there is the need for professional leadership at the SLRA. This is first time that a woman is heading this all-important government Agency. We now have a situation where there are two women heading the road transport sector in Sierra Leone – Dr Sarah Bendu of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) and Ing. (Mrs) Memuna Kumba Jalloh of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority.
The challenge for these two women is how to bring sanity to our roads in terms of construction, maintenance and traffic regulation and the urgent need to reduce road accidents and injuries. Road accident/injury prevention deserves serious consideration by these two women to the extent that the overall improvement in road safety will render enough benefit to our society through the reduction of the number of bed spaces within the health service that is allocated to road accident victims; savings in insurance cost; less damage to the expensive road network that your government has brought about; and the general improvement in transport and logistics operations throughout the country.
The Campaign for Safer Roads in Sierra Leone will continue to monitor progress in the road transport sector and we will give our utmost support to these women to achieve their mandate as prescribed by the relevant legislation and statutory instrument.
Victor Ako Mengot
Chartered Member of the Institution of Highways and Transportation